Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., best known for his fiscal conservatism and annual publication of the Wastebook, yesterday provided a 73-page booklet about wasteful spending by the U.S. Department of Defense. The booklet, "Department of Everything," so named due to the non-defense expenditures by the DOD, reveals that if such items were cut from the budget, the agency could save $68 billion over the next 10 years.
Oklahoma Elected Officials Join Coburn's Bandwagon
Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., the senior senator from the Sooner state and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, explained that he appreciates the Oklahoma junior senator's efforts each year to identify ways to cut federal spending and acknowledged that the Armed Services Committee would look into some of the items the "Department of Everything" booklet revealed. Inhofe also explained that some of the items could not be viewed in isolation because they would result in fewer benefits to military personnel, which in effect lowers their pay.
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., a member of the U.S. House of Representatives' Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, praised Coburn's efforts and explained the timeliness of the report of non-defense related spending couldn't have been better when the Congress will be looking at ways to cut federal spending to avoid the fiscal cliff. Cole explained that it will be better to cut the budget in areas that don't reduce military personnel or affect the nation's defense capabilities.
Non-Defense Items in DOD Budget Identified by Coburn
Coburn explained that he is both a fiscal hawk and a military hawk and wants the military to "have the best equipment in the world," reported NewsOK.com. Because of these beliefs and because each department in the federal government may be looking at budget cuts, Coburn wanted to do his part to ensure the items being de-funded wouldn't be directly related to the defense of the nation.
Items identified as such in Coburn's "Department of Everything" include the development of an app to tell someone when it is time to take a coffee break, duplication of services of the Department of Energy in developing alternate energy sources (in 2010, the DOD launched more than 100 initiatives of renewable energy, more than any of governmental department, including the Department of Energy), the DOD receives more funding for world health activities than either the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the National Institutes of Health, microbreweries, development of the military's own beef jerky and more.
Smack dab in the middle of the baby boomer generation, L.L. Woodard is a proud resident of "The Red Man" state. With what he hopes is an everyman's view of life's concerns both in his state and throughout the nation, Woodard presents facts and opinions based on common-sense solutions.
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